I was stalking this thread for a while before I joined (mostly because I was a little bit intimidated)
But whatever, I'm biting the bullet now!
I was interested in Buddhism in high school but had dropped it for a number of years, only to come back to it recently. The difference now being my level of sincerity. I feel as if I was running away from Buddhism for those years(meanwhile trying to fill that spiritual hole with nice material things).
Coming back to buddhism seriously for the first time is the best decision I've ever made; I feel as if I'm home. I've recently been attending group meditations and dharma talks in my city, and am seeing the benefits of having community support for the first time. I'm still very green, but I do know that this will be a life-long journey for me. I would like to take the refuge vows formally, and am in the process of trying to arrange that. I've read quite differing opinions as to if that is necessary or not, so if you have any insight into that, feel free to share.
As for the question mentioned in the post title-
I am moving to Shunde, China in September. I do not speak the language, nor can I even begin to figure out how to find an english-speaking sangha (without taking the ferry to hong kong, that is). I find that community is what is helping me the most right now, and no community in addition to the isolation of being in a foreign country sounds like it would be detrimental to my practice. Perhaps that sounds a bit dramatic, and hanging out at the (many, many) buddhist temples will produce a solution. Though maybe it won't, and that's why I'm asking. (I do plan to take language classes, but it will be possibly years before I can cohesively understand teachings given)
So basically, what is the best approach to furthering my practice and trying to integrate myself into the community in a place such as China? All thoughts are appreciated~